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US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal

Frederick Plimley (K6GWY) on February 28, 2017
View comments about this article!

From Southern California Six and 10 Meter Club to our fellow Amateur Radio Operators:

We all enjoy our outstanding association of Amateur Radio and know that it has had a profound effect on our chosen vocation and hobby. Also, it has given us a wonderful camaraderie with fellow hams in our Southern California community and around the world.

Sharing this valuable gift of Amateur Radio with U.S. middle school students during their formative years will have a similar effect on them, their lives and their education, both professionally and personally.

We know that each of our fellow Amateur Radio Operators are selfless individuals who have given generously of their time and resources for the betterment and promotion of Amateur Radio and we send to you our heartfelt Thanks.

We would also like to prepare for the future now and get more U.S. citizens involved in Amateur Radio. With the proliferation of more advanced cell phones that do more and more exciting things and other diversions, it is imperative that we get more young people involved in Amateur Radio and “bring back the past excitement” of strong activity on all amateur bands. There is a serious problem when the average age of all new amateur radio licensees is 54 years old.

In this regard, we propose a new U.S. Amateur Radio Maker License specifically targeted to U.S. middle school students. Once young people get excited about Amateur Radio and enjoy communicating with their friends and experienced ham radio operators, many will become quite involved in Amateur Radio, will upgrade and it will become a life-long rewarding hobby for them. But, we must make students aware of Amateur Radio during their formative years, when they are young and don’t have so many other competing interests.

Looking into the future, for the rest of the century and beyond, we believe that every middle school student in the United States needs to understand the fundamental of radio and electronics, and understand the benefits of Amateur Radio and “what it is all about”.

Our goal with the proposed Amateur Radio Maker License is to get many U.S. middle school students involved in amateur radio and to learn more about the exciting field of radio electronics. If they get to experience the ”Magic of Amateur Radio”, many of them will upgrade and continue to enjoy Amateur Radio throughout their adult lives. -- It also important that we give these entry-level operators “real privileges” and the opportunity to grow and learn.

Also, we need more of our Amateur Radio bands to be utilized so that we don’t lose these bands to commercial interests. Many wireless and bandwidth providers are “chomping at the bit” to take valuable amateur radio frequencies where there is little or no radio traffic.

It is imperative for the future of Amateur Radio that we get many young people involved in Amateur Radio, gain substantial, increased Amateur Radio licensees and create more traffic on all amateur radio bands. The long-term future of Amateur Radio is at stake and it is important for us to act now to secure the future of Amateur Radio for generations of Amateur Radio operators to come throughout this century. We ask that you give our Proposal serious consideration.

Will Anderson - AA6DD - President - (951) 776-0315 - will.aa6dd@gmail.com

Steven Rapata - AC6DX - Vice President - ac6dx@arrl.org

Fred Plimley - K6GWY - Marketing Officer - (213) 254-5192 – fredplimley@gmail.com

Kim George - K6YYL - Secretary – ki6ywp@gmail.com

Tom Muller – WA6USA – Membership Coordinator – (951) 500 -9569 – wa6usa@gmail.com

U.S. Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal:

Southern California Six and Ten Meter Radio Club is proposing a new, entry-level U.S. Amateur Radio License and to expand existing Technician License privileges.

1) Proposed Maker License is designed to promote Amateur Radio for middle school students (6th, 7th and 8th grades) and we propose that the program be administered by middle school science instructors and/or VEC examiners, or a combination of both.

2) Proposed Maker License Privileges:
- 21.3 MHz - 21.45 MHz - (15 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes
- 24.89 MHz - 24.99 MHz - (12 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes
- 28.0 MHz - 29.7 MHz - (10 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes
- 50. 0 MHz - 54.0 MHz - (6 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes

3) To earn these privileges and the proposed U.S. Amateur Radio Maker License, the student or other applicant would complete 2 projects – one project would be a simple amateur radio transceiver kit and the other would be a workbook/amateur radio operating manual.

4) The transceiver kit would be crystal controlled and the transceiver will have an output power not to exceed five watts, either a double-sideband or CW transceiver.

5) The applicant will build the radio kit themselves, with instruction or assistance from middle school program teacher and/or ham radio operators assisting the program. The radio kit will include schematics, diagrams and pictures to assist in kit construction. If mistakes are made on kit assembly, applicant will correct errors with assistance until the simple transceiver is operational.

6) Proposed Maker License Workbook will consist of basic electronic instructions about resistors, conductors, capacitors, batteries and all forms of semi-conductors, including explanations concerning how they work. Workbook will also discuss current flow, power transfer characteristics of devices, magnetism/inductance, electrostatic fields, capacitors and tuned circuits etc.

7) Proposed Maker License workbook will illustrate, as an example how current flow through a resistor changes current flow into heat. There would be pictures and diagrams of what resistors and other electronic components look like, such as the zigzag wiring inside a toaster, for example. Applicants would be asked to draw diagrams of a resistor and other electronic components in the workbook. The manual would help applicants to be able to draw schematics and understand the characteristics of various electronic components.

8) Proposed Maker License operating manual section would illustrate examples of 15-meter dipoles, transmission lines, transceiver connections, 10-meter and 6-meter vertical Omni antennas and their connections and transmission lines. It would also explain how to read the dial on a transceiver and illustrate what Amateur band sections the proposed Maker Licensee would be allowed to operate on.

9) Proposed Maker License operating manual section would also stress courtesy and the importance of sharing the radio spectrum. Also, it would include copies of U.S. Amateur band plans, U.S. Amateur License class radio privileges and stress adherence to Amateur Radio rules and regulations.

10) We propose that the applicant would be required to fully complete the open workbook & question pages and correct the several pages of workbook completion test question answers with classroom assistance until the workbook question answers were 100% correct. Successfully completing the workbook and simple radio kit would make the applicant eligible for the proposed U.S. Radio Amateur Maker License.

11) Southern California Six and Ten Meter Radio Club proposes that the middle school instructor would sign and certify applicant completion of the program, along with two certified VEs or if other public program leader, along with three certified VEs and then certification documentation would be sent to the FCC for proposed U.S. Amateur Radio Maker License. We propose that this entry-level license be issued for a period of 10 years and be non-renewable as an incentive to upgrade to more advanced Amateur Radio licenses.

12) Southern California Six and Ten Meter Radio Club also proposes that current U.S. Technician Amateur Radio Licenses be expanded to Include All amateur radio license privileges from 21.3 MHz and above – with full legal-limit power – including all modes.

13) The proposed U.S. Amateur Radio Maker License simple transceiver kit would be determined by VECs, in coordination with middle school teachers and program leaders.

14) Simple radio kit proposed minimum requirements – to consist of a QRP Pixie CW DIY kit with audio side tone or a Forty-9er 3W Ham Radio QRP Kit CW Radio Transmitter etc. – kit specifications would be determined by area VECs.

15) Proposed U.S. Amateur Radio Maker License workbook content, class content and transceiver kit specifications would be determined by VECs, in coordination with middle school teachers and program leaders. It is suggested that some communities or VECs may recommend that their required kits be inexpensive double sideband kits or they may wish other workbook modifications as desired by local programs etc.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by NF6E on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
What I like most about your proposal is the "learning by doing" aspect of it. This used to be the primary way folks entered the hobby. Studying for the exam was secondary to the experience learned over time by tinkering with equipment and listening to active hams on the bands. Today, a lot of newly licensed hams have no clue how to operate their rigs once they get them. But I digress...

Here are a few questions to help improve my level of confidence that your proposal would actually succeed:

1. What is the annual rate of newly licensed middle school aged hams today? (What is your baseline?)

2. Assuming this new license class was enacted today, what does your group believe the estimated increase over the known baseline of new middle school aged licensees would be in the first year? Third year? Fifth year?

3. How many 6th, 7th and 8th grade students have been interviewed or surveyed to determine that the approach your group proposes would successfully entice them to become licensed amateurs?

Comment: Getting middle school students involved in amateur radio and increasing utilization of our allocated bands so that, "...we don’t lose these bands to commercial interests," appear to be two separate goals. So...

4. Does your group believe the expansion of Tech privileges would help protect our bands from commercial interests by increasing utilization of them? If so, how do you reach this conclusion?

Note: Expanding use of the bands by reducing licensing requirements or enhancing existing license privileges is a very old argument and I really don't want to fire off a thread about that. Rather focus dialog on your group's proposal to increase younger aged interest in the hobby.

Jason, NF6E/4
P.S. I actually entered the hobby as a middle school student, but that was almost 40 years ago. And it was called junior high school back then, at least where I grew up.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by N4OI on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
New licensing is not needed. Great to have classes to build radios and learn some theory and operating rules. And even operate under supervision. After that exposure, if a student gets the bug, he or she will pursue their license within the current structure.

I suggest one go to a middle school playground, sit on a bench, eat a sandwich. Watch the kids interacting. Now imagine all those kids armed with 200W HF rigs, microphones and licenses to use them on 15 meters during the next solar maximum.

I think I have reached the end of the Internet; there is nothing else to see.

73
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by AA4MB on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"I suggest one go to a middle school playground, sit on a bench, eat a sandwich. Watch the kids interacting. Now imagine all those kids armed with 200W HF rigs, microphones and licenses to use them on 15 meters during the next solar maximum."

I (and three of my close friends) were licensed in middle school. Having normal adolescent behavior in person doesn't equate to what you're portraying - in the slightest. I'd also submit that if you had been to a middle school playground watching the kids "interacting" you'd realize that the ones you seem to be afraid of aren't going to waste their time fiddling with building anything beyond putting together a waterproof case for their smartphone.

I'm fairly certain that the ones bothering to take part in such an activity wouldn't be the loose cannons you seem to be worried about.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KI3R on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Hello All .... We effectively shot ourselves in the foot when the old novice ticket was eliminated. The novice provided a simple, effective way to enter ham radio at the HF level. Now the first thing I am going to hear is that the HF bands are crowded enough. I read with amusement tales of our "crowded" HF bands. Sure on contests, etc but what of the other times. I am not a phone operator but the open frequencies are there. Compare that to what was happening 20+ years ago when finding a spot to call CQ was a chore. This cannot be blamed on poor conditions, digital modes poor antennas et al. Just look at our over all age. I always give my age to get a response on CW about our status .... and the future does not look rosy. We need a novice type ticket for growth as the present system just isn't delivering. I checked the tickets in my and surrounding zip codes and found lots of ops who are techs but are not on the air. The local repeater use is abysmal as compared to 20+ years ago. I do not see techs transitioning to HF in the numbers as with the old novice. The "new" novice should give significant space in all the HF bands in the CW and digital portions. I say all HF as giving a newbie space 21 megs and up with the current propagation is a sure road to disinterest unless one likes band noise. The ability to "make" - homebrew lends itself quite nicely to the CW and digital modes. Now the rub .... how do we test for CW or should we? The ability to copy CW by machine did not exist years ago. I really see no problem with machine CW even though there are those out there who consider it blasphemy. I feel that new ops will learn head copy by continued exposure of the mode. Even if they don't ... so what?

I sincerely feel that the magic of HF radio in combination with modern technology can draw young and new ops alike if .... we do not place them in narrow novice "ghettos" or on bands where the next person to hear them is light years away or with 10 watt restrictions. I hope that the ARRL's efforts into a "new" novice will be fruitful as in 20 years a lot of our calls will not be on the air but on marble.

God Bless 73 ..... Tom KI3R Belle Vernon PA

 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K7LZR on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I like this idea but I'm not sure that it will be an amateur radio savior.

In my experience, its getting harder and harder to pull these kids away from Facebook et al and to interest them in any form of communication beyond their mobile devices. Especially since they can't send selfies & videos with it whilst strolling through Walmart.

If you want to get interest among these young folks, then do as you propose with some modifications - introduce them to remote radio via internet, and show how it is done. Introduce them also to Software Defined Radio (SDR) and its associated technologies. Showcase these things and teach how they work. Have students build simple SDR transceivers.

These are the forward technologies, and they tie in well with the things that these kids know already - computers, smart phones, internet.

Good luck and I hope that some kind of good for the hobby and for these young folks emerges from this.....

 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KE5KDT on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I like it.

There are no perfect answers to how to get more young people involved in ham radio but there are frequently plenty of us ready to attack anything that is not perfect, except ourselves.

Don't get discouraged and press on with the proposal.
Bob
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WA1RNE on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Having been licensed as a Novice in the early 70's, ham radio was quite different to someone at 13 than today:

- It was a couple years after a solar maximum and band conditions were still good;

- For short/long communications, Ham radio was it, with the CB craze about to peak.

- Long distance phone service was via AT&T landline and was expensive, a 10 minute call coast to coast was around $5 or more - in yesteryear dollars.

- The internet was just introduced at DARPA and was just a glimmer on some college campuses.

Burt Reynolds is now 81 years old and CB is just a wild west frontier of truckers and noise.

Ham radio is in the midst of a really nasty sunspot decline, with Solar Cycle 24 being on target to be the 3rd lowest on record.

It doesn't matter how many contests there are, that generally translates to lower activity on popular HF bands.

...and yes, the average age of hams is increasing - especially that of those with experience.

But the popularity of the Internet has done more to decrease the popularity and usefulness of ham radio than any one cause - and it will likely continue to do so.

Building radio equipment as a teaching lesson to garner interest in grade schools is a good thing, especially if there might be a chance it could spawn interest in a technical field, but unfortunately it's only likely to generate interest in ham radio in isolated cases where some very motivated groups exist.

It is highly unlikely the idea will take on national prominence as the Internet is so vast ham radio is merely a speck on a kids radar.

In my estimation, to compete with the vastness of the Internet, ham radio needs to reinvent itself in some way. Once again it needs to deliver a niche that sets it apart from other services like it did before.

I have no idea what that niche is, but it would be a grand find.

 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB6NU on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I think that this is an interesting idea, but like all these ideas, the question is, who’s going to develop the “maker kit” and “operating manual?” Perhaps the SoCal 6 and 10m Club can do it, but probably not. They say, "Proposed U.S. Amateur Radio Maker License workbook content, class content and transceiver kit specifications would be determined by VECs, in coordination with middle school teachers and program leaders.” Good luck with that. It needs to be done by the ARRL. They’re the only ones with enough clout to get the job done.

Also, I don’t see the reasoning for limiting this license to the 15m, 12m, 10m, and 6m bands. The frequencies of interest for makers is 900 MHz and up. These are the bands that we’re using the least.

73!

Dan KB6NU
----------------------------------------------------------
CW Geek, Ham Radio Instructor
Author of the "No Nonsense" amateur radio license study guides
Read my ham radio blog at http://www.kb6nu.com
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by AC7CW on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Honestly, I think that the relatively few people that like Amateur Radio are going to find it on their own. If they go to their local Makerspace and see it in realtime and like it, they will go in that direction...
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K1DA on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The purpose of amateur radio is NOT to sell more radios.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by N3HEE on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I do not favor another license class. What we have in place now is fine. Someday there will be no license requirements. Seeing how easy it is to get a license today we are almost to that point now.

It was suggested by young ham Bryant Rascoll KG5HVO that kids are more comfortable behind a computer screen. He suggested that digital modes and contesting may be the key to getting kids interested in the hobby. I tend to agree.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by N9LCD on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
One of the problems with ALL the schemes to interest youth are conceived to satisfy amateur radio's needs.

It's time for somebody to conduct market research to develop a program to "market" amateur radio to youth in a way that satisfies their needs.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K8QV on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
No significant number of today's school kids will ever be interested in ham radio. Neither are they interested in whittling, paper dolls or learning how to drive a stagecoach. Get a grip on reality.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WW8X on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
What ever happened to theory of KISS or (Keep It Simple Stupid)?

This seems like another well-meaning and rather complicated plan to get people interested in the hobby. As basic as it seems, I’m afraid if you can’t get young people to look up at a thin wire in the backyard and be marveled at the miracle of radio, you’ll never turn them into hams.

I know it’s an argument that falls on deaf ears, yet I still believe it’s true: the basic code requirement should never have been dropped. Not just for the purpose of keeping an “outdated" mode like CW alive, but to maintain a stepping stone to the privilege of being a ham and joining the ranks of licensed radio amateurs. Listening to the active HF bands proves no one needs to worry about keeping CW alive – it's doing quite well.

But my bigger point is: answering a few basic multiple choice questions and passing a snail-paced, 5-wpm code test was never too much to ask for getting a basic amateur license. Yet, armed with that basic knowledge and code skill the world is yours and you can talk to it and not need 200 watts to do it. The internet, as great as it is, may have taken the marvel of the magic of radio propagation away? I hope not.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WA5VGO on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why are so many people in denial? Nothing will attract kids to ham radio. Just like model trains and coonskin hats, it's passé to today's youth. Accept reality and enjoy the hobby as it slowly fades away.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KC5NYO on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
K8QV said: "No significant number of today's school kids will ever be interested in ham radio. Neither are they interested in whittling, paper dolls or learning how to drive a stagecoach. Get a grip on reality."

Truer words were never spoken. Witness the demise of the buggy-whip business lol!! I've been a ham for 22 years now, and have realized that only those predisposed to amateur radio will take an interest in it. My son and my grandson both have no interest in my radio hobby, they laugh at me hee hee. They have their cell phones, their iPads, their various other off-roading and hunting hobbies. I think we're searching for a problem to apply our solutions to. Get on the air! Have fun!
 
Great intentions!  
by WB4M on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
We must accept the reality that ham radio is going the way of the 8-track tape cartridge. Technology has passed us by, the cellphone has killed us off. Just like PSK31 killed off RTTY, Amtor, and Pactor QSOs; things advance and others get left behind.
Young people view ham radio as antiquated, a hobby for a fat eccentric old man. And it basically is the over 50 group that is keeping this hobby afloat.
Good luck with your endeavors, perhaps you'll plant a few seeds that will grow, but they won't be enough I fear.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K4IA on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I like original thinking, if not all the details. 200w is too much. As novices we were limited to 75w input, a 50w output limit would be good. You can't cause too much trouble at that level. Focusing on CW QRP rigs suggests someone needs to learn CW and that is a non-starter.

The BITX40 does 10w SSB for $59. It can be modified for other bands and would make a good affordable starter/experimental rig. I am sure many more rigs would follow if demand is there.

Give them limited SSB priveledges on 15 and up. Maybe a small chunk of 80 and 40. If you want newbies to get and stay interested, you can't cripple them. It has to be fun and interesting. What do we have to lose?
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KD8YGW on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
This is a great idea. I see no drawbacks. Get the kids building things and using what they build.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB1GMX on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Color me seriously confused by this proposal.

Right now you can get a TECH license with that you get...

All of VHF/UHF and beyond all modes to maximum legal power.

Part of 10M, 28.3 to 28.5 Phone.

CW on 80/40/15M

Why the new license?

For not much more effort a GENERAL and you get all the bands.

Allison
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB1GMX on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Color me seriously confused by this proposal.

Right now you can get a TECH license with that you get...

All of VHF/UHF and beyond all modes to maximum legal power.

Part of 10M, 28.3 to 28.5 Phone.

CW on 80/40/15M

Why the new license?

For not much more effort a GENERAL and you get all the bands.

Allison
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K4EQ on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Seriously?
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W8LV on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I've never been a fan of incentive licencing,
since having a discussion with Wayne Green W2NSD/sk so many years ago on the subject. Separating privileges by bands is, I think, a bit of a silly idea: Where the very experienced are separated from the newcomers by design.

Yes, I know that the experienced can "move over/up/down" to talk the new guys, but there is something to be said for the "One Room Schoolhouse" where the "new guy" first graders do their lessons, but also benefit from HEARING the sixth graders doing theirs.

I personally learned A LOT by listening on the air to hams as an SWL: From their discussions with each other,
I learned A LOT about what was going on and general protocol to follow. But how many kids are doing the SWL thing these days?

The "transceiver kit specifications" part seems like a bit of a Sticky Wicket, since in our service now we can use homemade rigs that are not part of the FCC "Type Accepted" Slippery Slope.

What I would like to hear is some input from someone close to the education issue, for example, Gordon West.
Because this is very important for our future.

I'm not convinced that we even need three levels of licensure, maybe a "Beginner" and an "Advanced" level would suffice and be a fair compromise to those who both agree with and diagree with incentive licencing in general.

I don't like the whole hierarchy thing anyway, and I hold all of the Amateur and Commercial licences...
As a matter of fact, I think ONE Amateur class would suffice: And as people move up the leaning curve, they will simply do more: I don't see why we have to take a linear path at all as we learn. Someday in the Future, I can easily see the "First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade" and so on progression being done away with in the schools. People really don't learn that way, and someday maybe even the Educators will be Educated on this.

Certainly, the multiple levels that we once had were far too many, and we sure don't want a schism like we had with code/no code.

In any case, a tip of my Telegrapher's Green Visor to you for your efforts! Seeing the need for change is the right direction, indeed.

73 and All the Best!
DE W8LV Bill



 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W5GNB on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
NOT NEEDED !!!!
The so called "Exam" is so EASY now that ANYONE can pass EXTRA within a few hours and be set for LIFE. Why fool around with more paperwork to make things completely COMPLICATED ?????
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WO7R on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio is not going away. Our numbers have been stable for the whole 30 years I've been an amateur. From Wayne Green on, there has always been a contingent with some argument as to how we are doomed. Wayne Green was wrong then; anyone who says we are fading away is wrong now.

I suggest people go to license classes and find out who is taking them. I submit you'll find people mostly in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s.

When they have enough income and leisure to pursue it.

There was a day when 13 year olds thought ham radio was "keen". It was long enough ago that "keen" was a current word people that age used.

We will get our share, relax. But, let's get real about who we are recruiting.

And, building rigs? There is a "maker" community out there already. These folks, whatever their age, are the ones you want to talk to. They are the 21st century version of the Heathkit builders of the '60s.

But, they are _not_ going to be building conventional 200 watt transceivers. They are looking at Raspberry Pi, Arduino, 3D printing, and like technologies.

If you want "kids" to build radios, support that. Not yesterday's radio.

They will be building software defined radios (if you scrounge, you can actually find QRP versions out there today), crowdfunding pre-built radios, and much else.

And, outside of the maker community? The rest will do what most of us do -- buy rigs off the shelf.

Ham have always built up radios from what is available.

Tubes and discrete transistors really aren't it anymore, except for the final stages of amps.

Look at the Icom 7300. Look at Flexradio. That's what our successors are going to be running. Not the superhet marvels we grew up on.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by AA7LX on February 28, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Proposal is way too complex-- I've taught Primary, and Middle Public School as a full-time certified Professional Teacher. I've also been a College Professor-- teaching Bachelor and Master level courses. I'm also a VE. Keep the FCC Technician License as the entry level--beef it up by adding(which is already being done at each new Question Pool) up-to-date questions-- Digital and Analog. In the US-- 3 Levels is plenty already-- as evidenced by the new no-code entry level Technician license in 1991 and down to only 3 license class levels(as done to conform with other World Telecommunication member actions)in line with the rest of the World down to 3 US FCC License Classes starting in 2000. After 2000, then-- the FCC eliminated the code requirement for US Hams(In line with the other members of the World Telecommunication). Not everyone wants to become an Amateur Radio Operator... However, those who want to will study and pass the Technician Exam-- and either stay in -or- drop-out. It doesn't matter whether those perspective to-be Hams have to build a Kit to pass! Chances are very high that when they study for the Test with the local Club, those interested Students would have known about about Amateur Radio already!
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KF4ZGZ on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why don't you establish a baseline by finding a few schools to allow you to do this.
Re-vamp it under current tech licensing, run the course for a couple of semesters to see how many get involved, then get licensed.

No FCC legislature required.

Besides, I don't know many middle schoolers who can afford or talk the parents into a $500.00+ HF rig ..... but I can see an HT being a possibility.


Matt
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by N4OI on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I have an issue with making it part of a middle school class curriculum. Today, we are so sensitive to hurt feelings. A teacher/VEC will be tempted to make sure all students in the class "pass" and get their tickets, regardless of ability, interest or attitude.

This takes us one more step toward eliminating the need for any testing at all, or even licensing... Technician class is about as close to that as one can get already. No need for "maker" licenses...

73 :>)
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by NT9M on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The Novice license was gone by the time I became a ham. But I agree with Tom (KI3R) that eliminating the Novice was a mistake.

As a VE I've seen plenty of new hams remain stuck at the Technician level, even though the General is a fairly easy test to pass.

What novices of the past had was access to the great 40 meter band where they became addicted to HF.

Maybe a modern Novice license, substituting digital modes for learning CW, would combine computers and the excitement of working DX.

Give them digital and CW privileges on 80, 40, 30 and 20 meters. Little spectrum required. Give them voice on 6 meters and up. Make it non-renewable so they advance to General and beyond. Phase out the technician license.

I think that kind of scenario would better serve the ham community than the current license structure.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W3TTT on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I have said it before on this forum.

I think that the best thing for ham radio would be to have just two classes. The HF class and the VHF-UHF class.

The reason for licensing is not for the better enjoyment of the hams.

The reason for FCC/Government licensing is to make sure that the rules are followed, as well as good operating practices are followed too. So if you are good operator at the current General class level, you probably will be just as good an op as an Extra class.

In place of the "incentive" licensing, I would have ARRL or other orgs offer certificates of merit, for passing technical exams and courses. ARRL does offer some courses now, but the courses are not very technical, mostly dealing with emergency communications ECOMS.

And that's it. No need for "incentive" licensing. No need for Morse code testing, but that has already been decided.

I am saving this text so I don't have to re-enter it every time I want to post it when this same question comes up again.

Thanks for listening to my ideas. Hope you like. Hope you don't ad hominem attack it.

73
W3TTT, Joe
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB2SMS on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
There is no need for a new class of license. Technician class gives PLENTY of privileges.

Are there still electricity and electronics classes in high school? If so do kids take them today? Target those classes.

Most kids today (and young adults for that matter) are nothing but Facebook and "smart" phone zombies. You see it every single day. It's a sickness IMHO.

Ham radio has to targeting schools. The ARRL and similar world wide organizations have to start advertising on TV and radio and newspapers and start targeting the kids.

It's bad enough the ARRL wants to mess with the license classes too. IT'S NOT NEEDED.

Tom


 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K8QV on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Here in the 21st Century (yes, it's really the 21st Century) nobody wants to or needs to bother with licensing and limited capabilities when they have better, cheaper, license free and more reliable options for chatting with the world. The kids, most of all, look forward, not backward. With the advent of photography we see fewer people having their portrait painted but everyone takes their own pictures - for free. As far as amateur radio, the majority of licenses are going to the Technician class, and almost none of them ever advance beyond that level anymore. We really shouldn't even count licenses that solely serve the emergency communications craze. That said, some people still enjoy painting a portrait now and then. :)
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K0CBA on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
KI3R said, "Hello All .... We effectively shot ourselves in the foot when the old novice ticket was eliminated."

"WE" didn't 'shoot ourselves in the foot' a certain business concern in Newington, Ct. shot us in the foot by engineering the whole mess in order to sell more magazines/catalogs!
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WB0CJB on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The Tech license is already too easy. Anyone can memorize the answers to the ham tests enough to pass the exam. No one wants to study and learn. The Tech license has VHF/UHF phone and 10M phone besides CW on the lower bands.

If there is a beginner license make it a 2 year non renewable Novice license that has digital priviledges on the 80, 40,15, and 10 meter bands and 2 meter phone. In othervwords use the old Novice bands. If they want more band space then upgrade to General or Extra.

Most kids are into computers, robots, and their smart phones. If they want to talk with others on voice or CW then upgrade.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WA8ZTZ on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Yet another licensing proposal... seems like we get about one of these every month on here.
Look, if ham radio cannot sell itself, then forget about it. The last thing we need is another license class with its attendant limitations. The seeds of destruction were planted long ago with the "incentive" licensing debacle. The elitists have their own private allocations where they don't have to deal with the new kids. Just have one class of license with full privileges and be done with it. Water will seek its own level.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K5MF on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I am an 8th grade science teacher. The challenge is not in finding interested kids, I can do that easily. Middle school kids are interested in doing anything. Start a club, they will show up. Some will stick, most will lose interest after a while and leave. I have sponsored the Ham Radio Club, the computer programming club, the robotics club, and even a cup stacking club in the past 11 years. Getting students to join is not an issue.

The issue is getting adults to sponsor the clubs. I know the reputation is that teachers have it easy, but that is not a fact. I work every day from 6am to 6pm and put in more time on weekends grading papers, writing plans, etc. I am a ham so I see the benefits. Most teachers do not want to put in more time. Add in a complex subject like learning electronics and radio, and most teachers will run the other direction.

Then there is the cost involved. It is expensive. The ARRL has a great educational program and I have been able to procure a nice entry level station and antenna as well as other items through the various Teacher Institutes - I have been to three of them. All were expertly put together and awesome! The equipment I brought back to my school as a result is fantastic and used regularly. But that does not cover the consumable costs for the maker kits etc.

Then there is the issue of getting an antenna installed on school property. Let me just say that it is very tough to do. While it is supposed to be, "All about the kids," that is not a reality and most district operations directors do not approve of people putting things on top of their buildings and punching holes through walls. I was flatly told no to my request until I went to the Superintendent and told him about the ARISS contact I had already committed to. A month after the contact I was told, "Take it down." So we are now relegated to temporary antennas - a pain and marginal at best.

In the end there is a way if there is the will. Finding the will is not easy. It is not a licensing issue. I have had numerous students take and pass their exams. The issue is one of teache-cycles, money, and teacher stamina. Local club assistance is nice, but you still must find a teacher willing to sponsor the club. That is a tough trick to pull off.

If you are proposing implementing this as an electives type course to be done during the day, that would be better. Teachers are willing to do these things when they are on the clock. However, that would require that a course be designed, approved by the state education agencies, and then force districts to fund it as an electives course. I can tell you that there have have been ongoing efforts for several years by leading universities, such as The University of Texas, and lots of money from organizations like code.org to get one or two introduction to computer science classes as electives or mandatory classes in high schools. They are even pouring thousands of dollars into free Teacher Education preparing them to take the computer science teacher certification exams. It is a tough row to hoe. These efforts are losing out to mandatory courses such as "How to Interact With Police Officers," etc.

I think your intentions are noble though quite narrow in the overall scheme of public education. A de-facto novice license is not the barrier to ham radio in middle or high school. Solve the other issues mentioned and the license problem will be minor in scope.

73,

Tom / K5MF
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by N4OI on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Tom / K5MF wrote:
"I am an 8th grade science teacher. The challenge is not in finding interested kids, I can do that easily. Middle school kids are interested in doing anything. Start a club, they will show up. Some will stick, most will lose interest after a while and leave. I have sponsored the Ham Radio Club, the computer programming club, the robotics club, and even a cup stacking club in the past 11 years. Getting students to join is not an issue. [...]"

Thanks for that perspective and all you are doing for the kids, Tom!

73
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WA3SKN on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why are you posting this here?
Anyone can propose changes to FCC regulations... fill out the proper paperwork and submit it!
I don't agree with your logic, but the FCC will determine it's merits, not the group of amateurs reading this.

-Mike.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB2HSH on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
SERIOUSLY???

An infomercial-like pitch to introduce kids to radio?

Moving on.....
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KE7FD on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I think Tom, K5MF, hit the nail on the head. My daughter has been a teacher for some time and she reports very similar things to us.

Also, when I was a kid, radio was the cutting edge of connecting with people (other than the telephone), and ham radio made us geeky guys seem a little less geeky (for about 5 minutes). Kids today are not different than any of us were when we were young[er], it's what's available to them today that holds their attention. A two-year-old knows how to talk to grandpa on an IPhone, teenagers are fixated on social media, it's quite addicting, just look at our president. There's nothing that's "cool" or "sexy" about ham radio despite how much we drool over the shiny new rigs at Hamvention. With cell phones and social media it's, "So what? I can talk to all my friends and tell everyone across the world that I just changed the way I comb my hair." It's not just that radio is “ancient” technology, but there's a lot more interesting stuff kids are introduced to at an early age. To them getting involved with radio is like learning to operate a phonograph. It's a perception thing.

It used to be that we would ask the world around us how we can help them, people were generally courteous. Today, people are turned inward, "What's in it for me [only]?

Perhaps clubs should approach schools and ask them, "How can we help? We're hams. We have talents, skills and time to give.

So many of the suggestions hams make follow the thinking that we will tell them what they want, instead of listening to what youth are saying they like. Were we any different?

Glen - KE7FD
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K6CRC on March 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Great idea, nightmare to administer.
How about simplifying it to get new hams of ALL age groups?
Tech expands to all modes, 15 M and up.
Keeps old Novice CW on lower bands
Test updated to increase tech knowledge
No 'projects' to monitor or grade.
Keep parts of 15, 12, 10 for General on up as an incentive to upgrade.
Oh, BTW, increase some tech knowledge on General, add 'ettique' questions on interference and pileups.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KA2DDX on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
instead of a new class of license - how about making this idea an option to the existing technician class license.

it would effectively move them toward getting their general class license, in addition to stirring up additional interest subsequent to achieving technician class.

My perspective on this has to do with those who get their technician license and don't move forward after that. This could be a fun way for them to move forward.

Have local club(s) work with teachers in school to certify the completion of the project in school as well as non school persons getting certified in the clubhouse.

this idea has potential.

everybody and his brother has a smart phone nowadays. been there, done that, how boring.

something new could be a lot of fun.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K3VO on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The schools have no interest in Ham Radio. Those we have approached as a club have been told its not part of the program.
The one school had a tower, beam and station. After we talked to them they followed up by taking down the tower and who knows what happened to the equipment.
Look at our Engineering schools some are almost 100% foreign students.
Does your school system still have a shop class or CAD drawing?
School supers are business managers who do not have a background in education. So its gets worse by the year.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W4HM on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Targeting kids as potential new hams is the wrong direction to go. We need to target adults in their 50's and 60's that have money to spend on the hobby and are near to or already retired.

It should be a no brainer.

BTW I've introduced young people to ham radio many times over the many years and to date have had zero takers. They have looked at me each and every timelike I was an alien.

73,
Thomas W4HM
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W4HM on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Targeting kids as potential new hams is the wrong direction to go. We need to target adults in their 50's and 60's that have money to spend on the hobby and are near to or already retired.

It should be a no brainer.

BTW I've introduced young people to ham radio many times over the many years and to date have had zero takers. They have looked at me each and every time like I was an alien.

73,
Thomas W4HM
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W4HM on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
my age is 61. I've been an SWL since 1965 and an hamateur since 1989, I really love the all encompassing radio hobby.

I've owned a personal computer since 1988 and have been on the interweb since 1992, I really love computers.

I have had a rig hooked up to a computer and doing a variety of things with that combination since 2003. I really value the positive things that the interweb and a computer does to make the hamateur radio hobby even more fun.

But if I had to give up hamateur radio "or" the interweb/computer thing which one would I choose? What would you gals and guys choose?

I would choose the radio hobby. But I think that most young people would surely pick the computer, whether it be in the form of a PC, tablet or cell phone.

For that reason I don't think we will ever again attract allot of young people into hamateur radio. Once again I say that we should be focusing on adults in their 50's and 60's as potential new hamateurs.
 
Older not younger  
by WB4M on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
W4HM: I have said the same thing for a long time. We are targeting the wrong age group for hams. It's the older ones who have the interest, time, and money to support this hobby. Go to a hamfest and see who is there, 95% older men. This hobby is too physically restrictive, young people want to be out doing things with friends, etc, not sitting home Saturday night saying 59 OM. I think older hams who are not addicted to cell phones are much better prospects.
 
RE: Older not younger  
by W1RKW on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
an amateur radio license as-is grants one to make radios.
 
RE: Older not younger  
by K5TED on March 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
1. nothing stopping kids from building radios
2. nothing stopping kids from getting a tech license
3. nothing stopping a teacher from getting a General license.
4. Nothing stopping the General license teacher from being the control operator of the school club station, effectively allowing any kids to operate on any General allocated spectrum, under supervision, during class time or during "club" time. One would assume that the club would always have a properly licensed adult sponsor present. Otherwise, how would one expect any useful supervision at all?

10m, 12m and 15m are woefully underutilized. 6m already falls under Tech, so not really any incentive there except that is is a useful "local" band that can be worked with a simple antenna for short range in the absence of band openings.

 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K9CTB on March 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Probably not a good idea to legislate a new license class just to target a special interest ("middle school" or their science teachers). Let's keep the playing field as level as possible, given the huge skewing currently going on as we build on the "victim class" we created in our country. Instead, why not use existing infrastructure to "sell" ham radio to our youth? It requires a bit of innovation on the part of teachers and mentors, but part of the hobby and service revolves around the requirement for a little discipline if one wants to learn the magic of radio ... and a little more if one wants the license.

73,
K9CTB
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W3DBB on March 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The smart thing to do would be to make the Technician Class license good for one year only, like the original Novice license. Passing the 50 question General Class examination would demonstrate the applicant is at least somewhat serious about pursuing other interests in amateur radio. This would eliminate a lot of the dead wood on the license rolls, and hopefully put an end to the counterproductive obsession with numbers.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K9MHZ on March 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"An infomercial-like pitch to introduce kids to radio?"

Remember those ridiculous comic books that Icom developed I guess to connect with y9oung people? I'll never forget my then-young son's reaction...."dad, this is THE dumbest thing I've ever seen."

Good job, Icom.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB1PA on March 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
There is no need for another License Class. What NEEDS to be done is a better job of dealing with newly licensed hams. Everything proposed can be done with a technician license. We need better follow up to those that get licensed. My observation is 95% of new licensees walk out of the VE session, and fall into the abyss of not knowing what to do next. The local clubs are fumbling the ball by not aggressively contacting these new hams, and inviting them to club activities. NOT boring dull as hades business meetings, but actual hands on activities. The clubs are proud that they are making new hams, but there needs to be follow up. If that can be done, the hobby will thrive, become interesting and there will be hope for the future. Without such follow up, in 10-15 years Ham Radio will not exist.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by BOYSCLUBRADIO on March 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
You have got to be KIDDING....
They already have such a license.. its called CB.

Why not teach them the good old way within the existing rules... and to have all modes... only promotes the lip flapping and mic squeze activity... better to limit it to code or other until they get their license...

back a ways ago.. the ARRL called it incentive licens'ng...
Why keep trying to re-invent the wheel... it alread exists

Besides its not the radio that attracts them... but rather what you can do with it... the challenge is to make the radio work in strange enviro's...

but The ARRL pushed the Big Red S on emergency events... now even those are not happy and contrub to the hobby...
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by N8FVJ on March 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I think the video games will interfere with middle school kids interest in ham radio. Video games are instant gratification, ham radio tales time. Kids live in an instant world. Same that made food drive-ins so popular. Sorry.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KD4LLA on March 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The nerd/ geek kids at the high school near me are repairing the schools computers, flying drone's, and building robotic equipment.

If they want to talk to someone, they pick up their smartphone...

Amateur radio has not been "cutting edge" for twenty-some years.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB1PA on March 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Hmmm. Any skilled programmers that can write a video game featuring an Amateur Radio Operator as a super hero?? Or a video game that makes studying for a ham license fun and challenging?
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K5UJ on March 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Get a load of all the negativity. As if, if you don't have 95% of the class of kids falling all over themselves to get tickets, the whole thing is a pointless failure.

Probably only 2 or 3, maybe only 1 will be interested. That's better than zero. Enough of these classes and you have a few kids with licenses. They have friends who get interested. That's what happened years ago too. If these folks want to try this, what's the big problem. Go for it.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W2UIS on March 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
First, there is nothing wrong with the current licensing structure, no change required.

Second, I attempted to offer amateur radio to my local middle school, as of this date I have been ignored.

 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by K1CJS on March 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
There is a large problem with amateur radio as it stands today. The newer rigs are almost all "no user serviceable parts inside" and the excitement of seeing if you can build or repair something and then use it is all but gone.

Amateur radio used to pride itself on innovation and the willingness of hams to actually see if they could come up with new ideas--but that too is all but gone. It makes one wonder if technology is indeed a friend--or the enemy!
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KB1PA on March 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe stop offering it as Amateur Radio, but offer it as a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Mathematics) introduction. Include stuff on the
Sun, Electromagnetism, Problem Solving, Radio Control of devices and Satellites, Include computers. Also teach a bit about geography and history.
Show some edited down ARIS contact video. Make the proposal a written proposal to the school principal, include goals and objectives. If needed do a dog and pony show to the local PTA. Many doors will open with this approach.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by QRP4U2 on March 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Proposed Maker License Privileges:
- 21.3 MHz - 21.45 MHz - (15 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes
- 24.89 MHz - 24.99 MHz - (12 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes
- 28.0 MHz - 29.7 MHz - (10 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes
- 50. 0 MHz - 54.0 MHz - (6 meters) - 200 watts RF maximum output power - all modes

If you are going to have them building QRP rigs, limit any new class such as this to 10 Watts.


I really don't see a need for any new license class as the current system can accommodate all interests and technical levels.


Phil - AC0OB
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W8LV on March 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why in the USA don't we adopt a simple, two tiered model:

"Beginner" - Limited to Five Watts

"Advanced" - Over Five Watts

That's it!

My guess? A lot if folks would find themselves very happy indeed with the Beginner... But would go the next step, whether they personally stay QRP or go QRO.

I know there's going to be comments that QRP is too hard for Newbies.... But I certainly found that to be Untrue.

73 and All the Best!
DE W8LV Bill
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KC8YXA on March 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why don't you cleanup the 147.435 before trying to change things for other people......

It's Claim To Fame

K6MWT 147.4350 MHz Los Angeles Renegade Repeater

The "435" repeater is famous for lively discussion on controversial subjects. Located in Southern California on Santiago Peak (5,600 feet), the repeater covers Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and the Inland Empire.

All of the FCC's 13 NO NO Words are used when ever possible...
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by AG6IF on March 6, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I support this proposal, after talking to AA6DD on 6 meters about this situation, I believe it's important to bring the average age of new hams down from the 50+ range. This proposal will do that nicely.

After the license is obtained, is where work needs to be done also. This proposal will match up a mentor or 2 to each new applicant, which cannot hurt.

My club and others in the area does alot of hands on activities to help people get started, but we could all do a better job. I have also put hundreds of videos on youtube and a few dozen pages on my QRZ page too, it all helps new hams get bootstrapped and up and running.
73
Jim AG6IF
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WO7R on March 7, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
>>There is a large problem with amateur radio as it stands today. The newer rigs are almost all "no user serviceable parts inside"
>>and the excitement of seeing if you can build or repair something and then use it is all but gone.

>>Amateur radio used to pride itself on innovation and the willingness of hams to actually see if they could come up with new ideas--but that too is all but gone.
>> It makes one wonder if technology is indeed a friend--or the enemy!

Sure, if you asssume the only path is one that was the same one you took. I suggest you instead pay attention to two basic trends:

1. The "Maker" community (3d printing, Arudino, much else).

2. Software defined radio (where you can actually get SDR receivers, at least, more-or-less off the shelf now and hook them up to things like Arduino).

Hams always took the cheap and readily available technology and made stuff. What I'm talking about _is_ affordable, especially if you can rent 3D printing (and that is possible locally, at least). The rest is cheap enough -- 35, 50 dollars for this or that. Heck, the cheapest (but very usable) Arduinos are around 4 bucks and you can (for instance) build a very nice Morse Code keyer out of it. Just for starters as far as ideas go.

What's going to change, then, is what one "makes stuff" with and the kind of building-blocks one has.

A proposal that doesn't understand that is going nowhere.

And, a ham who doesn't know what's going on in these areas is going to be too pessimistic about the future.

Nope, you aren't going to see too many young people making super-het receivers out of discrete parts. But so what? Super-het has a sell-by date now anyway. It's going to be all SDRs before you can blink. Even if the knobs on front look the same. The future is already clear.

What you will see, especially if we figure out how to encourage it, is to have people take large scale integrated parts (e.g. SDR-on-a-chip or even direct-conversion-receiver-on-a-chip), Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, some 3D printing, and see people build radios out of _that_. There's still a great amount of interesting stuff that can be done with those building-blocks that will lead us (or at least _them_) in interesting directions.

That's the future and if we don't encourage it, any proposal we make will have nothing to do with anything.

Young people are already flocking to that stuff. So, let's help them get involved with it in a way that leads to hamming instead of yet another Robot Warrior or something. Otherwise, we're inviting them to build yesterday and that usually works out poorly.

 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WO7R on March 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
<<<< But if I had to give up hamateur radio "or" the interweb/computer thing which one would I choose? What would you gals and guys choose?

You don't know it, perhaps, but you would find yourself, with great reluctance, giving up ham radio.

In 2017, giving up the internet is like saying you're going to give up the telephone in the 1960s. Few will say they will; even fewer will actually do it.

I know you made the argument "for effect" and of course nobody will have to make the choice, but as long as you brought it up, let's get real. There are whole companies, some quite large, that are just about impossible to contact by phone or by mail these days. They _only_ make themselves available by the internet.

And, how many times while sitting in those endless automated phone messages ("press one if you're fed up with waiting"), are you breathlessly told to go to their website, which they even spell out for you, if you want quicker answers?

No, sorry, the internet is where we go for fun, but it's also where we go to get a lot of important things done.

That's part of what we have to overcome. The internet is "just there" and it allows, routinely, world-wide communication in a way that we could only dream about providing in the '60s.

Well, people still go fishing even though fish is available in the grocery store in abundance. We have something that about 600,000 people, in the US, seem to want no matter how big the internet gets. But, we have to find a way to "our" people and do so in the face of the reality of competition from cell phones and PCs. We've actually been doing it, BTW, because our numbers are stable.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KC5JPZ on March 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I think that the Technician license would fit perfectly with "Maker" projects.

The only changes that I would make to the ARS rules would be:

1. Rename the Amateur Extra Big Boy license. The new name for that license would be Class A. Advanced would be called Class B. General would be called Class C. Technician would be called Class D. Novice would keep its name.

2. Change the name of the "vanity" call sign system. When you change your call sign you would not have to renew the change forever. Broadcast stations do not have to renew their changed call signs why should we?
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WD4HXG on March 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
First off there is 30 KHz down between 160 and 190 KHz open for 1 watt operation. Relax the antenna restrictions and allow antenna up to 250 feet without including the feedline for communication using PSK-31, JT modes and RTTY. Allow them to use digital modes to transmit converted speech comms.

Second, authorize anyone to operate on 27 MHz from Channel 24 to Channel 40 using digital modes. This would allow the experimenters to have 17 Channels of 10 KHz to use narrowband digital modes. The radios would be type accepted and readily available at low cost.

Open a segment of 440 for experimenters who sit for a license. Allow them to access 1 MHz of simplex frequencies. Also under the same license authorize the experimenters to utilize the amateur segment overlapping the Wireless 2.4 GHz band for digital communications.

They would have access to VLF, 27 MHz, 440 and 2.4 GHz. It might also lead to reallocating 27 MHz back to the amateur service for digital modes only.
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by NN6EE on March 10, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I definitely AGREE with "LZR", as our future (ADULTS) are more INTERESTED in "COMPUTERS & Smartphones"!!! So his proposal to blend in those inherent INERESTS of our YOUTH into the "Un-limited possibilities concerning what "THEY" (OUR KIDS) would seem to me to "SPARK A NEW INTEREST" in communications, and provide a REAL CHALLENGE to them, as we should ALL KNOW most "Humans" are COMPETITIVE & INQUISITIVE!!!

Jim Davis-NN6EE
Ham since 1962 (Freshman year aka 9th grade JR HIGH SCHOOL)

"Just another guy's "2 CENTS", AS THERE'S lots of OPINIONS OUT HERE!!! :-)))
 
RE: US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by NN6EE on March 10, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
That's one of the BETTER IDEAS to get RID OF THE CB BAND, those individuals who use it have NEVER PLAYED BY THE RULES ANYWAY!!! Besides, those so-called CBers have other local comm. bands like 470 +/- mhz, marine/GMRS & FRS!!! They sure in the Hell DON'T NEED OR SHOULD HAVE 27MHZ, ESPECIALLY WITH IT'S INHERENT "LONG-HAUL" COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITIES!!!
 
Cry Babies BooHoo  
by SSBER on March 15, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Let's face it, who wants to talk to a bunch of stuffy old geezers that hate the world. Just reading this thread is enough to make a person puke. You people are the biggest turn off with your endless belly aching and whining about other radio classes.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by WF4R on March 17, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
All this rhetoric reminds me of a book I read recently called "Who Moved My Cheese?" If you've not read it, please do. It's not very long, an average reader can read it in one evening.
Long Live Amateur Radio Service.
73, Bill, wf4r
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KK6YLW on March 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I'm of two minds on the topic. I bring up the subject locally all the time in my VEC and radio clubs about us pairing with STEM instructors in junior high and high school to do outreach to the young minds today. Would it work? There's the rub. I remain highly skeptical that it will. My own son, grandsons, and nephews, electrical engineers and scientists all, have no interest in ham radio. They see it as antiquated with nothing to add today. They feel the same about my model trains because they did not grow up riding trains or living near them.

The high technologies today will continue to steer young minds away from us. I think the outreach is worth the effort. I doubt it will pay off.

No new license should be set up.

73s,
Bob
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by KD5PDA on April 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Although a great idea, I think this would do little to spark interest. I first started as a middle school student, and what interested me was Skywarn and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. Now that I'm older, have three children, and other time constraints, I still make time for the hobby. My interest has changed from Civil Service to radio restoration however, and having extra funds has allowed me to experiment with homebrew and repairing tube equipment. My oldest is 5, and having the solder smoke, tube tester and oscilloscope going fascinates her. A couple weeks ago I took my wife and little ones to their first Hamfest (we were by far the youngest there unfortunately). We have to engage and determine what piques our little ones interests, only then will the hobby stay alive.
 
US Amateur Radio Maker License Proposal  
by W5IDX on April 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent Idea....
I think there should be a trial period of mentored (BY HAMS) on air activities they must actively participate in to learn proper etiquette and demonstrate reasonable proficiency before the license is given along with the rest they are doing.

But this is a wonderful idea and there should be an incentive for a parent or guardian to join in if they wish to get licensed too.

W5IDX
 
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